U.S. Reps. Don Manzullo (R-IL) and Mike Michaud (D-ME) today said the latest patent reform bill introduced in the House and Senate this afternoon would actually weaken intellectual property protections for American manufacturers and put hundreds of thousands more Americans on the unemployment lines.
Manzullo and Michaud led a bipartisan coalition of 64 Members of Congress last fall fighting for major changes to preserve American ingenuity and jobs in last year’s flawed “patent reform” bill. The bill died in the Senate last fall and was reintroduced in both chambers this afternoon as the Patent Reform Act of 2009. Manzullo and Michaud issued the following joint statement:
“This year’s version of the so-called patent reform bill again weakens America’s strong patent system, making it easier for foreign companies to take our ideas and our jobs. By diminishing the damage awards in patent infringement cases, this bill would encourage intellectual property theft by foreign competitors, putting 298,000 American manufacturing jobs at risk and curtailing U.S. research and development spending by $66 billion, according to a recent economic study. It makes no sense to us why we would threaten the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Americans at a time when our people are in desperate need of jobs.
“In this difficult time for U.S. manufacturing, we hope the authors of this bill will abandon this contentious approach and instead work with us on patent reform legislation that strengthens American jobs rather than puts them at risk. Let’s tackle consensus issues like Patent and Trademark Office efficiency, patent pendency and patent quality. Let’s work together to reform the system, rather than take actions like diminishing the value of damages that could obliterate it.”